Grade One marks the passage out of early childhood. The primary teeth that were their companions through their firsts meals now fall away, and with this tender departure dawns an awareness of change and progression. A sense of their own biography and an awareness of their inner thinking life is also arising but as yet, these understandings are in early states of unfolding.
The social life of first graders shows a refinement of their early interactions. They are "getting good" at making friends and engaging in social play. A budding capacity for imagining the experience of others leads to an improved navigation of social conflicts. Emotions however are still close to the surface and self regulation will vary dramatically from task to task and day to day. Imaginative play is also very active with complex plots and multiple students engaging in the same narrative.
Physically, balance and cross lateral articulation show greater maturity. New tasks including writing and flute will demonstrate still emergent capacities. Ball play, jump rope and skipping will often show dramatic growth over the course of the year.
Students will often end the day fatigued, as the school day is substantially longer than kindergarten and the cognitive and social learning they will have accomplished during the day will often sap their reserves. The rhythms of a nurturing home, so importantly developed in the early years, are still essential for our 1st grade students.
The first grade marks a student's entry into scholastic life. The formal academic practice students will pursue throughout the grades will have its foundation laid during grade one. Learning to work together as a class, imagining solutions for posed problems, taking responsibility for materials and assignments
of 1st grade presents a significant transition for students. In the early months of the school year, we work together as a community to support our students through this liminal phase.
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